Thank You to the many participants in the Bishop’s 5K Race/Walk at Saint Mark’s! Donations raised will assist more than 30,700 individuals in need of food, clothing, energy assistance, and residential and behavioral health programs. A special Thank You goes to our Sponsors!

As Thanksgiving approaches, we reflect on the reasons why we’re thankful. It’s an appropriate time to show appreciation by donating resources to those less fortunate. To make an online donation to help combat hunger through our Food Assistance Program, click here.

Save the Date! Do More 24 Delaware will begin March 3-4 at 6pm for 24 hours, Give where you live and help Catholic Charities serve the needs of our community’s most vulnerable. Help provide food, shelter, counseling, and coaching for those who need it most. To donate to Catholic Charities during Do More 24 Delaware, click here.

Deborah Fols, Development Director for Diocese of Wilmington, Retires after 43 Years

Reprinted from The Dialog June 22, 2021 – Wilmington DE — An era comes to an end on June 30. After 43 years, through four bishops, Deborah Fols will retire as director of the diocesan development office. Her role as the chief fundraiser has helped the diocese maintain its wide-ranging ministries. That includes education assistance, Catholic Charities, cultural ministries, The Dialog and many others.

“The biggest part of development is marketing. You have to constantly tell the story,” she said. “To those who are most loyal, sometimes the story becomes redundant. But you have to continue to tell the story and remind people that the money is being put to good use”

It’s not easy, “but it’s rewarding. As a development person, you have to learn how to have tough skin and understand that for every yes, there are 10 nos. So you can’t get discouraged. And you have to be very firmly committed to the mission.

“Development is sales, but sales for a real need.”

Fols started with the diocese in 1977 as a part-time volunteer, just the second year of the development office’s existence. The diocese had just purchased a computer, and Fols would come into the office in the evenings and input data into the computer.

She was hired as a secretary in July 1978, and in 1982 she was promoted to associate development director. A decade later, she assumed the top position, which she would hold for the next 29 years save for a stretch of about three years when she worked for a national consulting firm. That job took her all over the country working with other dioceses. She returned to the Diocese of Wilmington in 2009.

She learned a lot from those other dioceses, she said, and was able to bring that knowledge with her back to Delaware. But being on the road five days a week took a toll.

“I had jet lag. I missed my family,” she said.

The primary fundraiser for the diocese is the Annual Catholic Appeal, which launched in 1976 with a goal of $300,000. The development office has hit its goal each year except that one and one other, Fols said. Today, the goal exceeds $4 million, “but people are generous, and the money is put to good use.”

She and the other three people who work in her office had gotten through the major-gifts component of the 2020 appeal when the coronavirus pandemic hit. That closed churches, which is where most Catholics hear about the appeal and the work it supports.

That, along with an increasing number of organizations competing for donations and other factors, forced the development office to be more creative in the way it approached the appeal.

“You have to learn very quickly that in today’s world, even without COVID, traditional fundraising doesn’t always work,” she said. “Last year was a real tough year. We still raised over $4 million, but we didn’t hit goal.”

Local roots

Fols grew up in New Castle and entered Saint Mark’s High School as a freshman when it opened in the fall of 1969. When her senior year came around, the principal was a familiar face. It was her brother, then-Father Thomas Cini, who is 12 years her senior.

“I came back my senior year, and Father (James) Delaney was no longer there, and Father Cini was. It was an interesting year,” she said.

At school, she could not call him “Tom,” and she received her diploma from him.

“We survived that,” she said with a laugh.

When she started working for the diocese, Father Cini was the episcopal vicar, “and he wasn’t so sure it was going to work out with the two of us in the same building.”

Fols did not grow up thinking she’d be making her career in development.

“First of all, I would have said, ‘What’s development?’ Secondly, I would have gone, ‘Oh, no. That’s not possibly true.’ As a kid, I always wanted to be a veterinarian. But it just worked out,” she said.

During her time as director, the diocese expanded the responsibilities of the Development Office after the bishops of the United States published a pastoral letter entitled “Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response” in 1992. Fols said there was a push to provide stewardship services to parishes, so she began doing feasibility studies and consulting for capital campaigns for them.

She was not able to do this by herself. Her office currently consists of three other employees. They work on the Annual Catholic Appeal, parish services, Vision for the Future for tuition assistance, planned giving and other fundraising campaigns.

For the Vision for the Future, the diocese receives approximately 1,000 applications for aid each year. Fols and her staff have to examine every one of them to ensure that the most worthy applicants receive the assistance. This year, more than 360 students are receiving about $853,000 in aid.

At one point, the development office had seven employees. Fols is grateful for the work that those remaining do every day.

“They do a lot of work. They’re very, very dedicated. They’ll tell you that they don’t see this as a job, they see it as a vocation,” she said.

Fols, 66, plans on spending more time with her husband of 32 years, Rob, and their son Christopher and his wife, Brittany. She also will be working in her garden at her home in Bear, and she likes to cook.

She wants to spend more time with Msgr. Cini, who lives at Annecy Hall in Childs, Md., with the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. During the pandemic, no visitors were allowed inside the facility, so they would speak to him through a window. Since the beginning of 2021, they have been able to be in the same room, but they have been distanced from each other and wearing masks.

She and Rob, a retired electrician, hope to travel to Europe, and she said her husband wants to visit all of the national parks in the United States. She’s also getting a dog; her last pet died almost three years ago.

“We are looking forward to spending time together and relaxing,” she said. “And it’s time. It’s time for new blood here.”

More Federal Support for Affordable Housing Urged by Catholic Charities Leaders

By  Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service

June 23, 2021 – Cleveland OH – Officials overseeing Catholic Charities-connected housing initiatives are calling on Congress to boost funding and expand tax credits for affordable housing programs that serve older adults and homeless people.

Three officials made their pitch to congressional staffers during an online briefing arranged by Catholic Charities USA June 23 on behalf of a growing number of people struggling in unsafe and unhealthy housing situations.

They said only a fraction of affordable housing needs is being met through their programs.

“We’re addressing 15% of the need. It’s a very small percentage,” said Deacon Tom Roberts, president and CEO, Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas.

“When I think about the narrow band of people that are chronically homeless, that if we don’t get them into housing with resources, the drain on the system,” he said, “the cost to push them through a primary medical need or emergency room or the jail system or the legal system is astronomical compared to the cost to get them into housing with resources.”

The wait for affordable housing under the Diocesan Housing Services Corporation of Camden, N.J., is three to four years, said the agency’s executive director, James Reynolds.

At the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Catholic Housing and Community Services program that serves senior citizens, over 260 people applied for one of 46 apartments in a newly constructed affordable housing facility, said director Heather Huot. “That’s 17%,” she said.

The program, known as Section 202, funds construction, rehabilitation and acquisition of properties that can serve as supportive housing for seniors. It also provides rental subsidies for qualifying low-income seniors, including the frail, so that no more than 30% of their income is used for rent.

But funding for construction was halted by Congress in 2012 and it was only reinstated in the 2020 federal budget.

Huot and Reynolds advocated for funding to return to at least the $400 million to $500 million that was allocated nearly a decade ago.

Section 202 helps seniors to live independently while providing basic services such as cleaning, cooking and transportation, Reynolds told Catholic News Service prior to the briefing.

The federal fiscal year 2020 budget allocated $150 million for the program, and the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development in May began seeking applications from nonprofit organizations to receive funds. HUD estimated that about 45 projects would be funded.

Reynolds said his agency applied for funding for a 75-unit housing project. “The bigger issue is even at $150 million, it falls short of the (nationwide) need,” he said.

Huot told CNS rental subsidies under Section 202 are often overlooked as a viable tool for seniors living on fixed incomes that are squeezed when rent costs increase.

“There’s a misperception out there of what a senior who needs affordable housing looks like. The reality is the majority of seniors who live in our buildings worked in industries, worked in the trades, maybe they were a police officer. They had a full life of contributing to the community and now need some support to meet their needs,” Huot said.

The Catholic officials also advocated for increasing the federal low-income housing tax credit. Reynolds told CNS the credit has led to the development of the highest number of affordable housing units during the past three decades.

The program gives state and local agencies the authority to issue tax credits for new construction, acquisition and rehabilitation. HUD reports that more than 106,000 units were placed in service annually between 1995 and 2018 because of the credit.

Other issues the officials raised included the need for counseling services addressing housing to help people prepare to live in a stable setting and establish personal budget priorities for costs such as rent.

In addition, Reynolds called for HUD officials to review housing policies developed in the mid-20th century that have contributed to “de facto segregation.”

“The realistic opportunity for lower-income people and minorities in particular to access reasonable opportunities in higher income communities just doesn’t exist,” he said.

“I think that while HUD has addressed this issue partially … one of the things they haven’t done nationally at a policy level,” he continued, “is take affirmative steps to ensure not only that we are not furthering discrimination and patterns of housing segregation, but we’re actually going out and providing opportunities to allow folks to reverse these trends.”

He encouraged a review of where affordable housing projects are developed so that people of color and low-income families have the opportunity, if they choose, to move into communities with better schools, improved safety and better access to transportation.

Fund for Women Announces 2021 Grant Recipients

June 15, 2021 – Reprinted from Coastal Point – The Fund for Women (FFW) at the Delaware Community Foundation recently announced the nonprofit recipients for its 2021 grant cycle. Since 1994, the FFW has awarded 376 grants totaling more than $3.2 million to nonprofits serving women and girls in Delaware. The FFW’s one-year grant offers organizations an opportunity to obtain seed money for innovative, creative programming or funding to continue or expand programs where effectiveness has been demonstrated.

For the 2021 grant cycle, the FFW has awarded $209,998 to 15 nonprofits. The agencies listed will utilize the grant funding for critical projects related to housing, healthcare, career training and education programs. Grants were awarded in a virtual, live webinar on June 8. The presentation can be viewed at fundforwomende.com and on the FFW Facebook (@DelawareFFW) and Instagram (@fundforwomen).

Awards went to (in alphabetical order):

  • Boys & Girls Club of Delaware, $15,000 — statewide — Girls on the Run at the Boys & Girls Club, provides GOTR teams and programming for five clubs statewide during 2021.
  • Catholic Charities, Diocese of Wilmington, $15,000 — statewide — developing life skills to enable young mothers to overcome poverty and homelessness at Bayard House.
  • CHILD Inc., $15,000 — statewide — permanent, safe, affordable housing for nine victims of intimate partner violence and their 12 children.
  • Culture Restoration Project Inc., $10,898 — New Castle — Poetry, Prose & Power, a trauma-informed series of creative writing and life coaching workshops that is a culturally competent, therapeutic, self-affirming outlet for young girls ages 13-17 in Wilmington.
  • Delaware Center for Justice, $15,000 — statewide — Community Reintegration Services Program (CRSP) will provide 125 women throughout the state with evidence-based case management strategies and other crucial services that foster successful re-entry.
  • Delaware College Scholars, $15,000 — statewide — Allows first-generation college access to expand and hire additional summer faculty to support the summer residence portion of their college preparatory and persistence program.
  • Delaware Technical & Community College Educational Foundation 866, $15,000 — Kent — Workforce Development Certified Nursing Assistant Scholarships provides six women a scholarship covering tuition, books, uniforms, equipment and additional costs to Delaware Tech’s Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Program.
  • Fresh Start Scholarship Foundation, $15,000 — statewide — Partial funding for nine young women of the Class of 2021-2022 with financial and emotional support to advance their education.
  • Jewish Family Services of Delaware, $14,500 — statewide — Maternal Mental Health Program JFS will partner with Nemours duPont Hospital for Children (Nemours) to increase the specialized capacity of Delaware’s behavioral health workforce to treat perinatal loss and perinatal/postnatal depression among Delaware’s women.
  • NCALL Research, Inc., $15,000 — statewide — A New Vision: NCALL Financial Education Program for Single Mothers in Need Across Delaware will provide 100 low- to moderate-income single mothers in Delaware with tools and resources to build financial stability through a 12-week intensive program.
  • Ronald McDonald House of Delaware, $15,000 — statewide — Housing and support services for Delaware mothers with infants receiving care in Neo-Natal Intensive Care Units at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington and Christiana Hospital in Newark.
  • STEHM, Inc., $4,600 — New Castle — Financial Independence Program provides women experiencing homelessness with core money management skills by attending one-on-one and group workshops to manage their finances to gain the confidence they need to independently care for themselves and their children long-term.
  • The Way Home, $15,000 — New Castle/Sussex — WHOLE (Women Having Opportunities 2 Leverage Employment) provides 100 incarcerated women prior to release with an innovative, interactive, gender-responsive and trauma informed cognitive behavioral transformation course and workforce development training grounded in cognitive-behavioral skills necessary for successful employment.
  • Ubuntu Black Family Wellness Collective, $15,000 — New Castle — Centering Black Mothers for Birth Equity Project; Empowering Black Mothers, Empowering Black Doulas This will be a pilot doula project that will provide the value-added benefit of doula care addressing the Black woman pay gap experienced by Black community doulas.
  • YMCA of Delaware, $15,000 — Sussex — Sussex Family YMCA Teen Workforce Development Program provides a new effort in Sussex County designed to provide teen girls with education and experience for their first job.

The Coastal Point is a local newspaper published each Friday and distributed in the Bethany Beach, South Bethany, Fenwick Island, Ocean View, Millville, Dagsboro, Frankford, Selbyville, Millsboro, Long Neck and Georgetown, Delaware areas.

 

Catholic Charities, www.cdow.org/charities, serving those in need for 190 years, offers a wide range of services to strengthen families, care for children, assist the disadvantaged, and build human relationships throughout Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Welcome Bishop William Koenig! On July 13th, our new bishop was ordained to the Order of Bishop and installed as the Tenth Bishop of Wilmington at a special Mass. To read more, click here.

Pope Francis Appoints Rev. Mnsr. William Koenig as the New Bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington

April 30, 2021 – Wilmington, DE – The Holy Father, Pope Francis, named the Reverend Monsignor William Edward Koenig, Vicar for Clergy for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington. He will succeed the Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly, who has served as the leader of the Catholic Church in Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore since 2008.  In accordance with canon law, Bishop Malooly offered his resignation to the Holy Father when he turned 75 years of age on January 18, 2019.

Bishop-elect Koenig (pronounced Kay-nig) was introduced at a press conference on April 30, 2021 at Wilmington’s Cathedral of Saint Peter.

Bishop-elect William Edward Koenig is presently the Vicar for Clergy for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York. He is the son of the late Alfred and Mary Koenig. He has two brothers, Joseph and Michael, and a sister-in-law, Joan, who is married to Michael. He is also blessed by having six nephews and nieces.

Born on August 17, 1956 in Queens, New York, Bishop-elect Koenig grew up in East Meadow, New York where he and his family were parishioners of St. Raphael’s Church.  He attended St. Raphael’s Elementary School, St. Pius X Preparatory Seminary in Uniondale, New York, Cathedral College in Douglaston, New York and the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, New York. After ordination, he also attended Fordham University from which he received a Master of Social Work Degree.

Bishop-elect Koenig was ordained to the Priesthood by the Most Reverend John R. McGann at St. Agnes Cathedral on May 14, 1983. His first assignment as a priest was to the Parish of St. Edward the Confessor in Syosset, New York. After five years at St. Edward’s, he served for one year in the Parish of St. James in Setauket where he also assisted in the Campus Ministry Program at State University of Stony Brook. In 1989, he was appointed the Diocesan Director of Vocations with Residence at the Cathedral Residence of the Immaculate Conception in Douglaston, New York.

As a resident, he assisted the staff of four other priests in helping to form seminarians from the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre for the Priesthood as they completed college or Pre-Theology requirements. In 1990, Bishop-elect Koenig was assigned as Diocesan Director of Ministry to Priests while continuing to serve as Diocesan Director of Vocations.  Upon the completion of his assignment in 1996 as Directors of Vocations and Ministry to Priests, Bishop-elect Koenig served from 1996 to 2000 as Parochial Vicar at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre, New York. In 2000, he was appointed Pastor of St. William the Abbot in Seaford, New York where he continued to serve until 2009.  During his term as Pastor at St. Williams, Bishop-elect Koenig in 2007 was named Chaplain to His Holiness by Pope Benedict XVI. In 2009, he was appointed the Rector of St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre, New York.  His service as Rector concluded in 2020 when he was appointed the Vicar for Clergy for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

In addition to his Diocesan Assignments, Bishop-elect Koenig has served in a number of roles and Boards in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He has been the Dean of both the Seaford Deanery as well as the Rockville Centre Deanery.  He has been a member of the Diocesan Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors. He as represented the Diocese of Rockville Centre in the Priests Council of New York State. Monsignor Koenig has been the Moderator of CYO of Long Island and is a Board Member of Unitas which serves as an investment corporation for parishes and diocesan entities.

Bishop-elect Koenig will be ordained to the Order of Bishop and installed as the Tenth Bishop of Wilmington at a special Mass scheduled for July 13th.

The Mass will be available for viewing. Please check for upcoming details on cdow.org.

 

Catholic Charities, www.cdow.org/charities, serving those in need for 190 years, offers a wide range of services to strengthen families, care for children, assist the disadvantaged, and build human relationships throughout Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Frederick ‘Fritz’ Jones, longtime Diocese of Wilmington Catholic Charities executive, takes over as Executive Director (Photograph by Don Blake)

April 7, 2021 – Wilmington, DE – The Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, announced today the appointment of Mr. Frederick “Fritz” Jones as Executive Director of Catholic Charities Inc. of the Diocese of Wilmington.  Mr. Jones has served in management positions at Catholic Charities for 43 years, most recently as Director of Program Operations. He has been serving as Interim Executive Director since March 4, 2021.

“I am very pleased to appoint Fritz Jones to this important position,” said Bishop Malooly. “For decades, Fritz has been a leader in our efforts to serve the people of God, especially families and individuals in need. He is committed to our mission to provide critical social services to the people of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore.”

“I am so privileged to have been asked to remove ‘Interim’ from my new position at Catholic Charities,” stated Mr. Jones. “I am excited to serve in this capacity and look forward to new challenges and opportunities in support of those in need in our diocese. My many years of service to Catholic Charities and the Diocese of Wilmington has me well prepared to be successful in this role.”

Mr. Jones earned a bachelor’s degree from Wilmington University and a Master’s of Science in Human Resource Management from Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania.  During his time at Catholic Charities, Mr. Jones has managed all Catholic Charities programs for the diocese.  His accomplishments include the reorganization of the Behavioral Health Program resulting in increased productivity, and the integration of the residential maternity home into a Catholic Charities program adding serves to new mothers.

Mr. Jones has served the community in many ways including as a member of the Counsel of United Way Executives Designee for Catholic Charities, the Wilmington Planning Commission, and the City of Wilmington Economic Development Committee. Other community groups include the Clarence Fraim Boys and Girls Club, Rockwood Museum, and as an Adjunct Instructor at Delaware Technical and Community College.

Catholic Charities traces its roots in the Wilmington area to the establishment of an orphanage for girls in 1830.  Over the years agency services have grown and changed in response to the contemporary needs of society.  Today, Catholic Charities is responsible for directing and coordinating the charitable and social service programs of the Diocese of Wilmington. It offers a wide range of human services to strengthen families, care for children, assist the disadvantaged, and build human relationships. It works in concert with other religious, non-profit, and public agencies, and in collaboration with the business and professional communities.

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was established in 1868 and comprises 56 parishes, 18 missions and 20 schools serving the State of Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  There are approximately 246,000 Catholics in the diocese. More information is available at cdow.org.

Catholic Charities receives grant from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware

February 23, 2021 – Wilmington, DE – Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Wilmington has received a $100,000 BluePrints for the Community grant from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware, it was announced today. Catholic Charities will use the grant money to support its Behavioral Health Services Program for low income families to address emotional, behavioral, and mental health concerns.

“Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware, is a great corporate partner, dedicated to provide support to underinsured and uninsured Delawareans. Catholic Charities is proud to work with Highmark and BluePrints to share our resources with the most vulnerable among us,” said Fritz Jones, Director of Program Operations. To learn more about available services, call the Catholic Charities office – Main, Kent, Sussex, or Eastern Shore – closest to your home to speak to the Counseling Services intake support staff.

BluePrints for the Community, housed by the Delaware Community Foundation, has contributed over $17 million to the community since its inception in 2007. It was established to serve Delawareans, with emphasis on, but not limited to, the needs of the uninsured and underserved, and to reduce health care disparities in minority population and address social determinants of health.

“Catholic Charities has long proven itself to be as effective as they are compassionate, which is what we need during challenging times,” said Nick Moriello, President of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware. “Highmark and BluePrints are proud to support their work in behavioral health to ensure the well-being of Delawareans.”

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware serves approximately 441,000 members through the company’s health care benefits business. It is an influential company in the market generating an economic impact of $135 million and supporting more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs across the state. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmarkbcbsde.com.

Catholic Charities, the social service arm of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, has been serving those in need for over 190 years, offering a wide range of services to strengthen families, care for children, assist the disadvantaged, and build human relationships throughout Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.